Agra is well-known as being home to the wonderful Taj Mahal - one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The gracefully designed mausoleums, the fort and the palaces reminds of the Mughal architectural brilliance. Besides the Taj Mahal, other popular tourist spots in Agra are the Agra Fort, Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb, Chini Ka Rauza, Rambagh Gardens, Fatehpur Sikri, etc. One such tourist attraction in Agra is the Jama Masjid, located right in the middle of the Fatehpur Sikri.
Popularly known as the Jami Masjid, the Jama Masjid in Agra is perhaps the largest mosque in India. Overlooking Agra Fort railway station, the Jami Masjid or Friday Mosque was built by Shah Jahan in 1648 and dedicated to his favorite daughter, Jahanara Begum.
Posted on a high podium approached by stairs, with five arched entrances to the courtyard, the mosque is crowned by three large sandstone domes notable by their winding bands of marble. Jama Masjid, flanked by the Zenana Rauza and the Jammat Khana hall on either side, is built in a manner that underlines its importance as a sacred place of worship.
Inlaid geometric designs, colored tiles and calligraphic inscriptions adorn the walls of the Jama Masjid. The massive central courtyard in the mosque has served as a haven for prayer and meditation for the devoted over the centuries. The tomb of the celebrated Sufi saint Sheikh Salim Chisti is located within the Jama Masjid complex.
Along the wings of the main prayer wall, large enough to accommodate 10,000 men at a time, panels of magnificently inlaid sandstone add a feminine touch. The building comprises of pillared Dalan, a beautiful Chhajja and the Chhatri on the roof. The main Iwan of the building is rather simple and contains a central arch with geometrical designs.
The entrance to the Jama Masjid Agra is approached through the massive gate Buland Darwaza, one of the highest gateways in the world, standing 40 meters high from ground level. It was constructed by Emperor Akbar to celebrate his victory in the Khandesh military campaign.
How to reach Jama Masjid
To reach the Jama Masjid in Agra, by air you have to land at the Agra airport, which is 7 km from the city center. From Delhi, it takes only 40 minutes to reach Agra by flight. The main railway station is Agra Cantonment. The main bus stands in Agra are Agra Fort and Idgah bus stand. There are many luxury taxis, coaches or buses that drive to Agra every day.